Installing a miniature universe in the DCCA’s Draper Gallery, Bonnie Crawford Kotula creates a darkened space to exhibit a constellation of small electric light sculptures. Multiple light-emitting diodes (LEDs) hang from the ceiling and each light blinks faster or slower depending upon the amount of ambient light surrounding it. Kotula explores light as knowledge and electric circuitry as a symbol of consciousness. Querying how we formulate thought, the artist states, “Scientists develop hypotheses to find objective truth. Art is different in that it produces subjective knowledge.” Kotula cites artists James Turrell (b. 1943) and Sarah Sze (b. 1969) as significant influences. Turrell builds contemplative environments to call our attention to the sculptural possibilities of natural and artificial light and Sarah Sze assembles large and intricate gallery installations out of ordinary consumer objects. Kotula also collects individual fragments of discarded plastic packaging and other mass-produced items to make her site-specific works. Likening her art to nature and natural organisms, she states that each distinct sculpture forms a larger community. Similar to the benefits of natural observation, Kotula believes that being open to the creative process rewards the act of looking.
Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art